As I Write, I Will Weep
She was no more than four years old, black-headed and petite, a land-based water bug. We were at the beach, a place where she absorbed comfort from her mom and grandmother and whole entire family. She took my hand and led me onto the sand. The moon shone above. Otherwise, the night was dense, dark, the sand itself invisible. She, with more courage than I, led me into the unknown because she—four years old—wanted to walk on the beach, and night did not matter. Last week she called on the phone with her boyfriend (like my mom and dad, always on the phone together) to thank me for her Christmas gifts, in love with the city she’s chosen, in love with the life she’s built for herself.
She was no more than four years old, as towheaded as any Southern child can be, a dandelion wisp on the wind. She was visiting my new house, standing in the foyer with her mother. When I descended the stairs, she collapsed on the hardwood floor and bawled because I, so dressed up and proud of myself, was off to work. She, with priorities better than mine, sobbed and I comforted her briefly, tears streaming down her face, before leaving her with her mother—I would just be gone for the day. This morning the email arrived: she is in Rabat, a grown up woman in a country she chose herself, in love with a new adventure she created on her own.
To us, inside our own lives, we are not the people we were in the past. We’ve changed, we make our own decisions now—how bizarre to be told of the time we stuffed the hated scrambled eggs inside the dinner bell, hiding them. For those on the outside looking in, time arcs back to the beginning, an awe-filled mystery. What strong, confident women my sister has raised.
Remember: You Cain’t Do Nothing with Love